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Resistance of human hair cuticle after a shaking process in wet conditions: comparison between Chinese and Caucasian hair

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Synopsis Hair cuticle is the first protection shield of hair against external aggressions such as daily combing or brushing that induce friction, mechanical stress leading to ageing process. The identification of alterations of the hair surface induced by shaking process of various hair fibres, such as virgin and chemically treated Chinese and Caucasian hair, sheds some light on some specific features, e.g. Chinese cuticle is torn out in smaller particles than Caucasian, which seems to be related to geometrical rather than ethnic reasons. The present work also shows that two geometrical parameters of human hair, the inter-scale distance and the scale angle are directly linked to fibre dimensions, regardless of ethnic origin. Representative of hair with an average larger cross-sectional area, Chinese hair shows a slightly smaller inter-scale distance as well as a higher scale angle. On the other hand, Chinese hair cuticle seems to be more sensitive to chemical treatment than Caucasian hair, at least for straightening treatment taken here as an example. Such an approach can be of interest in designing cosmetic products more suited to specific needs of human hair.

French
Résumé

La cuticule est la première protection du cheveu contre les agressions extérieures, comme le brossage ou le brushing qui entraînent un vieillissement du cheveu. L’étude de cheveux chinois et caucasiens, naturels et traités chimiquement, ayant subis un vieillissement artificiel, a permis de comprendre certaines spécificités: la cuticule du cheveu chinois est arrachée en plus petites particules que celle du cheveu caucasien. Ceci semble dûà des considérations géométriques plutôt qu’à des origines ethniques. En effet, ce travail montre que deux caractéristiques géométriques du cheveu humain, la distance inter-écailles et l’angle des écailles, sont directement reliées au diamètre du cheveu et non à l’origine ethnique. Du fait qu’en moyenne le cheveu chinois est plus gros, ses écailles sont plus rapprochées et présentent un angle plus important. De plus, la cuticule du cheveu chinois semble plus sensible aux traitements chimiques que le cheveu caucasien, notamment pour un traitement de lissage que nous présentons en exemple. Cette nouvelle approche apparait intéressante pour la mise au point de produits cosmétiques adaptés aux spécificités des cheveux humains.
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Keywords: Caucasian; Chinese; cuticle; hair; wear

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: L’Oréal Recherche France, 92110 Clichy, France 2: L’Oréal Recherche China, Pu Dong, 201206 Shanghai, China 3: L’Oréal Recherche France, 93600 Aulnay Sous Bois, France

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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